president clinton to cut tax rates. many democrats opposed him then because the tax cuts were unfair, favoring the highest-income americans. to overcome that obstacle, the republicans resorted to a parliamentary technique, budget reconciliation, a maneuver that allowed for passage of their tax cuts but forced them to expire after 2010, at the end of the ten-year budget window. so we scroll forward to 2010. as 2010 ended, president obama and many democrats in congress, including myself, wanted to extend the tax cuts for middle-class families but let rates on income above $200,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a family revert to the clinton era levels. our senate republican friends filibustered that effort, refusing to allow the middle-class tax cut without a tax cut for the highest incomes as well. their hostage strategy worked that time and the president and senate democrats reluctantly agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years. so now the two years is up and these tax rates are again set to expire. that's why senate democrats passed the middle-class tax cuts act in july.